Credit reports are filled with codes that signify the status of your accounts and the history of nearly every financial transaction you've ever made. If you want to understand what your credit report means, you have to know what these codes mean and how they influence your report. The three major credit bureaus that issue credit reports all use the same codes.
Types of Account
The types of credit accounts listed on your credit report are displayed as codes placed before or after the account details. The letter "R" stands for revolving credit and refers to credit card accounts. "I" is for installment accounts such as personal or auto loans. Mortgage loans appear as an "M," while "C" stands for credit lines such as home equity loans. If you see an "O" it refers to open accounts which may last 30, 60 or 90 days.
Any actions which have taken place regarding an account will be listed on your report as a code. For example, if you have applied for a new account but have been denied, the code will read "D" for declined. Other common account action codes include "F" to signify a bad debt write-off or repossession, "C" for a closed account, "A" for an automated withdrawal account and "X" for a lack of reply to lender contact attempts.
Credit reports display a complete record of your payment record over the life of every loan. When you pay on time, all the time, the code you will likely see is "01." A "00" indicates that you may have applied for a new account and been approved, but have not yet used your credit. Any other codes listed next to your payment history will reveal something negative. For example, "02" means that you are 30-59 days late with a payment and "9B" means that the account in question has been sent to collection.
Not all loans and lines of credit are issued to one person alone. In many cases there are cosigners, business partners and a host of other authorized users and liable parties. The codes that indicate borrower type help distinguish the differences in each account so credit agencies and lenders know exactly where you stand. The code for an individual account with no other users is "I." For accounts with a third party cosigner, the code is "M." If you are the cosigner on another person's loan the code is "S." If the borrower is deceased, the code is "X."
Besides the type of accounts you are carrying, your credit report keeps track of what types of businesses you owe a balance on. "A" is one of the most common codes used in this area of the report as it pertains to auto loans, while "R" or real estate is seen almost as often. The codes are all marked by a letter. There are 26 total categories, including "O" for oil companies, "S" for sporting goods and "V" for government debts.
Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.